Existential Psychoanalysis - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Existential Psychoanalysis

"Existential psychoanalysis" is a trend in psychology and psychiatry best understood as a reaction against the theoretical and philosophical presuppositions of the psychologies based on natural science in general and of Freudian psychology in particular. The phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and the existentialism of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Martin Buber, rather than the mechanistic worldview of natural science, are seen by existential psychoanalysts as providing the proper philosophical and methodological route to a more complete understanding of man. In its original form, therefore, existentialist psychoanalysis was not a countermovement to Freudian psychoanalysis, unlike Jungian or Adlerian psychoanalysis, for example. Its criticism always focused on the philosophical theory of man implicit in Sigmund Freud's work, and it offered itself as a philosophical complement to Freud. The main burden of its criticism is that a full understanding of the patient's experience and world is impeded if the...

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This section contains 2,554 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
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Existential Psychoanalysis from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.